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StoryBrand’s JJ Peterson on How to Build a Sales Funnel


Who is Dr. JJ Peterson and StoryBrand?

In our recent episode of the Thrive Collective Podcast, we had the great pleasure of hosting our good friend Dr. J.J. Peterson, currently the Head of StoryBrand. Since 2013, Dr. J.J. Peterson has used the StoryBrand Framework to help thousands of organizations clarify their message to grow their business. With Donald Miller, Dr. Petersen co-authored Marketing Made Simple (2021), a step-by-step guide to building a sales funnels that work.

He holds a Ph.D. in Communication and has spent the last 20 years practicing and teaching communication theory. J.J. has studied C.S. Lewis in Oxford, debated theology with filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival, directed a documentary, served in marketing and PR for two multinational non-profit organizations, served as a communication professor, and has spoken to thousands of people about creating a clear message.

Today, as Senior Director of StoryBrand, J.J. travels around the world facilitating StoryBrand workshops and keynotes, helping people grow their business.

In this article, we’ll share insights from our interview with JJ Peterson. To get the full effect, listen to the episode for yourself or watch the replay below—especially if you’re looking to take your business to the next level!

What is a StoryBrand BrandScript?

A StoryBrand BrandScript is a tool used to organize a company’s brand message into the 7 essential elements of a well-told story.

You know the song and dance all too well… You have the greatest product or service in the world. You know it, your friends and family know it, but do your potential clients know it? Chances are… they don’t!

The reason?

Your brand’s message is confusing them.

Every time someone asks you what you do, you explain it in a different way. Your website tells one story. Your newsletter tells an entirely different message. And don’t even get me started on your MySpace page.

But in all seriousness, clarifying your company’s messaging can be strenuous and straight-up frustrating. So many entrepreneurs and small business owners find they are just too close to their product or service to talk about it in an objectively clear way. And when you bring that confusion to digital marketing, you waste a ton of money doing it wrong!

That is, until now.

The StoryBrand BrandScript

Your StoryBrand BrandScript is a tool that helps you outline and organize your company’s message into seven essential elements. When used correctly, it will catch the attention of people who are about to become potential customers.

In our interview, Dr. J.J. Peterson noted, “Story is the best way to get people’s attention and motivate them to move forward.” When you make your prospect the central character of the story your brand tells, you invite them into a story that matters to them. And when you do, they actually listen. 

Story is very formulaic. A StoryBrand BrandScript walks you through that formula seamlessly. It will get you thinking about your prospects, what they want, what problems they are facing, what kind of guidance they need etc.

And when you put yourself in the shoes of your customers, you transcend the “business” mindset that keeps you from seeing past your product.

Put more simply: a StoryBrand BrandScript will clarify your message and build trust with your audience. When you do marketing the right way, platforms like Facebook Ads make it easier for us to reach and convert those who need our help.

One (ultra clear) message, tailored to your ideal audience, reinforced through a variety of strategies. Now that is a winning combo for digital marketing conversions and new clients!

Step 1: Use the BrandScript Tool to clarify your message.

Step 2: Bring clear marketing messages to your inbound marketing strategy.

Step 3: Enjoy more leads and more business!

A StoryBrand BrandScript is a powerful tool! (enjoy yours at

But before you build, set a goal. 

Why Goal Setting is Important to Inbound Marketing

Setting goals is critical to any successful strategy. Large corporations with marketing teams and millions in funding have the luxury of long-term goal setting. Those companies hire specialized professionals who guide and direct the company’s strategy based on those goals.

Imagine trying to set 10 different goals for your inbound marketing, social media, email campaigns AND your overall business. Where do you even start?

To truly see your company grow, you must be intentional in how to measure that growth. How will you know when it works? How will you measure its success? Does this align with the goals of your team and organization? Without a goal, even the most brilliant strategy is powerless.

Some Key Performance Indicators to consider when measuring the success of your inbound digital marketing campaign may include:

  • Increased traffic to your website
  • Average engagement time on page
  • Your site’s conversion rate
  • The number of interactions with your digital marketing assets (i.e. email opens, clicks, shares etc.)
  • So much more…

With a StoryBrand BrandScript and clearly defined performance outcomes in mind, now you’re ready to build your sales funnel.

Sales Funnels to Build Healthy Relationships

Dr. J.J. Peterson talked about sales funnels and how they help build healthy relationships with your prospects. He spoke about the 3 stages of a relationship: Curiosity, Enlightenment, and Commitment.

In the dating world, you would never ask someone to marry you upon meeting for the first time. That would be crazy!

First, you would meet the person at a party or a work event and they would pique your curiosity. You would then ask them out on a date and you would learn about their dreams, likes, and dislikes, etc. This is the enlightenment stage.

After dating for a while and being enlightened to who they are, you would then be ready to commit to them and live happily ever after!

Your prospects are the same. They need to go through the 3 stages of a relationship with you before they are ready to commit. A sales funnel helps you pace out the relationship with your prospects so that you can be sure to get a yes when you ask them to commit to you! (If you would like to learn more about sales funnels and the 3 stages of a relationship check out this blog!)

To Sum It All Up

It was such a joy to have our good friend Dr. J.J. Peterson on the Thrive Collective Podcast! JJ did an amazing job of breaking down StoryBrand’s Seven-Part Framework and how it can be used for digital marketing. JJ is a trusted friend, advisor, and business coach who walks his talk every single day! He’s been working with businesses to help them define their message clearly so that they can attract more leads and new clients. JJ truly knows what he is talking about when it comes to inbound digital marketing strategy –and we are grateful for all the wisdom, knowledge, advice and guidance that JJ shares with us in THIS EPISODE of The Thrive Collective Podcast.

JJ Peterson StoryBrand and Rob Hughes

If you haven’t yet checked out JJ’s podcast The Marketing Made Simple podcast, we would highly recommend subscribing or listening to it! Bonus points if you listen to Episode 5, where our very own Rob Hughes shares how to be the guide to your client’s story. LISTEN HERE

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